Delaware kids become marathon runners thanks to non-profit

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Saturday, July 30, 2022
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A Wilmington couple created "I Can Do 26.2 Kids" to race to end childhood obesity.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- "People look at a marathon and they say, oh my gosh, I can't do it," said Chika Chukwuocha. "It does take a lot of training to do that, but it's totally achievable."

Chika and her husband, Nnamdi, started their journey with children's health activism in 2015. While exercising with their sons, they met a couple of neighborhood children who enjoyed playing together. Their idea was to create a space where kids could train and have fun with parental supervision.

That became the non-profit, "I Can Do 26.2 Kids," whose name is derived from the amount of miles required to complete a marathon.

"We wanted to put a different twist on it to even bring it down to the children's level that yes, you can do it," said Chika.

For the seventh year, kids were enrolled in an exercise and running program that stretched the length of a marathon over six weeks. Today, kids crossed the finish line on their 26.2-mile conquest at Abessinio Stadium, which partners with various schools and track teams throughout the year.

"It was like my first time doing track," said 7-year-old Ariana Hunter. "It's not that hard, but you want to get the hang of it first."

Hunter completed three laps to receive her medal today.

"The feeling is like, oh my God, you just won something in your life and you're only young," she said. "It just makes me feel so special and I love having that feeling in me."

Although most of the fanfare was on the track today, there are other areas of health that the non-profit focuses on.

"Not only do we do fitness here, but we also talk about nutrition. We talk about proper sleeping, really just taking care of your body," said Nnamdi Chukwuocha. "This is who we are as a couple. We work out and support each other every day. And all we're doing is mirroring that to our community."

To learn more about I Can Do 26.2 Kids and their programming throughout the year, visit their website.

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